Calling all homeschoolers!

Posted by: Little House

Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 08:28 AM

I would be interested to see what curriculum you are using this year. There are so many choices, but some are more suited for gifted kids than others. What are you using with your kids?

I'll go first.
Dearie, my 8yo dd (3rd grade) will be using:

Math -- Singpore Math - finish up 3B, do 4A and probably 4B
She will also finish up the last Miquion book. I have found that these book have been a really good fit for her.

English -- Life Packs grade 4 -- I am trying to get her to be more independent. I'm not thrilled with these books, but she can do them mostly on her own, and she should get the basics of grammar from them.

History -- Sonlight Core 3 -- Intro to American History. I love Sonlight. We have read so many great books. Dd is a non-stop reader, so this is a good fit for her.

Science -- Apologia General Science (written for 7th graders)-- This is one that I really agonized over. She is ready for it academically, but I am not ready for her to be doing middle school work!

Honey, my 7yo dd (1st grade) will be using:

Math -- Horizon's 1 -- She has struggled with math, and my younger dd was catching up to her, so I have moved her to a different program. I'm hoping that it won't be obvious who is where if they are using different books. I have really liked this book for this dd. It has just the right amount of review for her.

English -- A computer program call Click and Read -- We are mostly focusing on learning to read this year. This dd has had some vision problems that have held her back. I think that she would have been much further along if she had not been seeing double part of the time.

History -- She will be doing Sonlight with Kiddo. Some people think that doing two Sonlight cores is too much for mom, but it has not been a problem here.

Science -- Sonlight science with Kiddo. Honey is getting more out of it than Kiddo is, but it is good for both of them.


Kiddo, my 5yo dd (Pre-K) will be doing:

Math -- Miquion Orange (first grade book) and Singapore 1A. When she finishes these she will just go on to the next book.

English -- Explode the Code Book 2 -- When she finishes this book she will go on to the next one. She is reading pretty well right now.

History -- Sonlight with Honey -- We are re-using a core that Dearie did several years ago. A perfect fit for both girls.

Science -- Sonlight with Honey -- There are worksheets that are rather difficult for Kiddo, but I think that she is getting something out of it.


There is a lot of extra stuff that they will be doing, but this is the core subjects.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 08:44 AM

DS7 and I don't really use a curriculum for much of anything, though we're definitely not unschoolers. We just raid the library and the Internet a lot. We sort of do eclectic, child-led unit studies (in the loosest sense of the word!), I guess. the curricula I've seen are generally too limiting for DS7. We need more flexibility than they offer. Plus I am constitutionally opposed to curriculum anyway, and always have been, even when I was teaching. How should I know what we'll be doing in March? Let's see how it goes!

And raiding the library is cheaper than most curricula, too, and added benefit! smile

We're starting the year with a study of origins: the Big Bang, the origins of numbers/math and the origins of language. I bought a couple of things from the Learning Company to help us, but most of our material will come from library books that we read together. He also wants to study robots and the human nervous system, and those seem to be a nice pairing, so we'll do that either at the same time or after we're through with the origins unit. We'll see how it looks.

For fiction reading, I think we're going to start the year with Alice in Wonderland, since he requested adventure stories with people taking exciting journeys.

For math, we're going way off-road. We used Singapore last year and may come back to it, but DS7 wasn't ready to memorize his times tables (though he has a firm conceptual grasp of multiplication and was bored with it). That became a problem last year when we got to the level 3 books. We switched to doing geometry--high on concept, low on math facts--and he loved math again. Yay! So this year, my engineer DH is going to teach a unit on physics that will use concepts from calculus, algebra, geometry and I don't know what all. Hopefully, DS7 will learn his math facts along the way just out of convenience. If not, we'll get to them when it's time.

So no boxed curriculum at all. But lots of cool stuff, I hope!
Posted by: Little House

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 08:56 AM

Wow Kristen,
That sounds really cool! With 3 dds I tend to rely on boxed stuff more and more. We do a lot of library books too! The librarians know us well. I guess that is why I like Sonlight so well, they pick the books and all I have to do is read them. (But they are not right for everybody, I am not trying to imply that.)
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 09:06 AM

Well, I have a second child (DS4), but we're not currently HSing him, not anymore than any other parent HSs a 4yo, anyway.

Most HSers love their curricula. I always feel like the odd woman out in these discussions because I just can't do it! Really, I just get itchy when I think about buying a box set.

It's definitely a weird thing about me!
Posted by: incogneato

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 09:11 AM

Wow Kriston! That sounds awesome!

We do like Singapore too right now, my girls are like Kriston's sons, though, we have to switch up formats pretty often.

We are partial homeschooling, but have decided to leave DD6 in school this year as her teacher seems to be a bit of a rock star!

DD8 will leave school to rotate between Destination Math, Singapore text and workbook, and maybe still a little more of Aleks. She took a break and seems a bit more interested in Aleks again. I am going to buy Descartes Cove through the co-op that Kriston generously posted for us!

She and I are reading Everlasting Tuck together. I found several free junior high level study guides online, she answers the questions orally. Also while reading, she'll shout out words she doesn't know. Then we look them up and she re-reads the sentence, imagining the scene. For this book we have been critically examining the author's writing style. So image provoking! We've been having a ball!

DD6 will do Destination Math and Singapore, probably 1/2 hour per day. She will pick her own reading material, she likes reading aloud to me. She'll write stories with 1 sentence promts and learn spelling and grammar as she goes....after school, not too much time though.


Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 09:20 AM

I'm glad the year looks so promising for DD6. Yay!

It sounds like a good year for DD8, too. The variety should be good for her. smile
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 09:50 AM

I LOVE Tuck Everlasting! I cried the first time I read it. The film is almost as good as the book, if you haven't seen it yet.
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 10:07 AM

We're homeschoolers too; eclectic and somewhat unstructured.

"Penelope" age 3, will be continuing in kindergarten math and we're starting a new science program just for her which I am very excited about! She's just starting to really take off with writing and she has a handwriting without tears workbook for when she feels like practicing. She reads well, at a high grade 2/low grade 3 level, but I suspect that she may have some vision issues related to tracking.

"Hector" 11, will be taking a lot of online courses this year, which will be new for him. He's taken 1-2 at a time previously. We've opened a conversation with the community college and are trying to get him into a class for Spring 2009, when he will be 12. I'm trying to be optimistic, but so far they have not permitted any student younger than 15.

I haven't figured things out for "Artemis" yet. She's eight, and does amazing things, but seems to like structure the least. I have to impose a little on her, or she'll never do math, but I want to encourage her to really go with her strengths too.

We have a family trip to Orlando coming up, so we'll be starting school late this year.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 10:09 AM

What science are you using for DD3, Lorel? is it a local program, or something else?
Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 10:17 AM

I've heard a lot of good things about sonlight, but is that a Christian curriculum? We are actually Unitarian, so I'm not looking for anything that has Christianity woven throughout (no offense to anyone - our entire extended family is Christian!). Although I'd love to do world religions/origins with DS at some point.

Maybe I'm in denial, but I've bought very little for homeschooling. We have Singapore math. DS7 (would have gone to 2nd grade) just got done doing a month of Aleks. We'll see how that plays out. If we do Singapore, I expect us to move through a couple of years quickly. He is just finishing 2B. We're really just filling holes and introducing notation yet. DS did get his multiplication tables somewhat learned this summer thanks to Timex Attack which is very helpful! And his teacher in first grade did do a good job getting him fast at addition and subtraction facts. We're flexible. If he starts getting burned out on arithmetic, we'll move to something else for a while.

This summer we raised catapillars and did some research on that. Right now we're researching and building models of volcanos. After Labor day, we're going to try to kick in to having some sort of order and schedule to our days and try to do some journaling, learning to type, vocab (just idenifying unfamiliar words, maybe build our own little dictionary this way - he's often comes and asks about words that are new to him.) I'm looking at the core curriculum book to fill in holes. And I'm thinking maybe we'll start reading some books a loud or doing audio books so DS gets some exposure to books I'd like to see him read. If he agreeable anyway. I won't shove Little Women down his throat or anything. It usually takes him a while to get into a book though.

He will continue to do piano, swimming, unicycle and we're looking at play/homeschool social groups. In sept, a local history center is doing a homeschool based program every Friday. We will do that, and pick up some books about those eras (Civil War, etc).

So I guess we're kind of following Kriston's lead and taking things one day at a time! I feel like we need to be able to turn on a dime too, at least initially here until I find out how DS learns at home and what is going to work best for us. Time will tell! I'm excited though!
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 10:18 AM

Yes, Sonlight is a Christian curriculum.

I'd like to hear more about the volcano models. That sounds like fun! Are you building them out of the newspaper/papier mache sort of thing, or something else?
Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 10:21 AM

Lorel - you remind me that I do need to have a few things in place for DD4 while we do all this! Although she is right in the middle of the science stuff we've done this summer. She is picking up a lot just coming along for the ride! I would like to have some specific reading/writing/math kindergarten stuff laying around if she's interested. I'm not going to be too structured for her until she's at least 5. And she is going to play based preschool 3 mornings a week.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 10:29 AM

I had DS4 do a lot of drawing and cutting while we worked last year, to mixed results. He LOVES that stuff, but he did tend to cry out for my attention more than I would have liked. And I thought he'd listen while DS7 read aloud, but not so much...

It is tough with more than one. Pre-K has helped us a lot, for a lot of reasons!
Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 12:19 PM

On our volcano models - they're the standard paper mache built around a jar kind of model! DD4 insisted on building one too, so we have 2 large volcanoes taking over our dining room. It's art, science, and geography all rolled into one - such fun!
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 12:33 PM

Good stuff! Thanks kimck! smile
Posted by: Little House

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 01:05 PM

Yes, Sonlight is a Christian Curriculum, but mostly it is just great books. Some Christian's won't use it because it uses some books that are not from a Christian background. On the other hand some of the books that they use are very Christian and you would want to leave them out if you are not.

The thing I like about it most is that you read these really thought provoking books to your kids and then you talk about them. Your kids get to learn from YOU. They learn to think about books and not just accept whatever they read. At first I wondered about how it would work, but I really feel that my girls have learned a lot, even from characters/authors that have very different beliefs than we do.
Posted by: mamaandmore

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 01:09 PM

I'm so unsure of what we're doing, we seem to change up every couple of months. I enjoy planning things out, but I hate actually implementing the plans. I think we'll probably use the books we have as loose guides to help us move forward, but do them at our own pace when we feel like it instead of saying "Today is Monday, so we have Math, Language Arts, and History". We're not unschoolers, but with 3 kids I just feel like it's too hard trying to maintain a structured curriculum for the older 2 and keep my DD out of our hair while we work. Plus, with as many books as the kids get from the library, we're never at a loss for interesting books to read and things to learn, lol.

DS6-
Easy Grammar Daily Grams Grade 2 (he loves them, so we do them, if he ever wants to stop I'd be a-ok with that, they seem very repetitious to me).

Aleks Math (we just finished up Singapore Math 2a and he was getting bored with the workbook format and the small chunks of information at a time).

Cursive handwriting (we use a free curriculum we found online http://www.kidzone.ws/cursive/index.htm and now I'm using their worksheet creator to make copy work sheets for DS from Little House in the Big Woods. My secret hope is that in writing the sentences from it he'll be intrigued enough to try to read it. His print is horrible and it's so hard for him that he's been resistant to writing.)

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard Nebel (I wanted something to give us some guidance for our science studies. It is a formal curriculum, but it's set up in units that build on each other. It's designed for K-2, but it's real science and practice in the scientific method. We use it fairly loosely, more as something to help me set up unit studies than a full on curriculum.)

Story of the World (We love the story format and unit study structure, I like having activity ideas set up for us already and with the further reading suggestions it really makes it a great spine so we can study as much or as little as we want on a particular chapter).

French (He wanted to learn a foreign language, I'm fairly fluent in French so we're using Usborne 1000 First French Words to give him some basic words and phrases, strictly for exposure and fun at this point).

Music (When DS6 was pulled from school the only thing he asked about besides friends was if we could still study composers and classical music like they did in music class. So, we're using Story of the Orchestra as a guide and doing units based on the chapters in it, alternating the composers and instruments).


DS4- He's very loosely 'homeschooled', I encourage him to sit with me and do his work, but I don't push it, if he doesn't want to he doesn't have to. We pretty much only "do" reading and math and only because he specifically said he wanted to do those. He will often sit in when DS6 and I do science, history and music, but just as often he wanders off. For reading we use Explode the Code A,B & C and the Bob books by Scholastic. I doubt we'll continue with Explode the Code to Level 1, he's picking up reading pretty quickly. For math we use Singapore Math Earlybird Math. I'm sure we'll continue on to regular Singapore because I think it's a fantastic introductory program.
Posted by: Lori H.

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 01:16 PM

I have never used a boxed curriculum for my 10 year old, but I did buy all of the What Your X Grader Needs to Know books and we used to read through parts of those books, but my son preferred reading through history and science encyclopedias that had pictures to look at and more interesting information. For history this year we are reading Story of the World, which he picked out at the book store, even though I thought it would be at too low a level for him. He likes it for bed time reading. We read Book 2 and we will soon finish the 3rd book. He also watches a lot of shows on the History Channel and he plays a lot of computer games that involve history and multiplayer online games where he can make his own alternate history.

For science, I have the book "Science: If You're Trying to Get Better Grades and Higher Test Scores You've Gotta Have This Book" and I like it because it has basic science vocabulary and info presented in a way that is easy to remember and it is easy for me to make up questions over the material. We do this in addition to watching a lot of science shows. We usually see something interesting on the science channel that we want to learn more about and then read about it. He also uses Wikipedia a lot.

For math we used Aleks for a while, but we have had a lot of trouble with our internet for the last couple of months and it is very, very slow, so we are using a Spectrum math book and also The 10 Things All Future Mathematicians and Scientists Must Know but are Rarely Taught and If You're Trying to Get Better Grades and Higher Test Scores You've Gotta Have This Book for math.

We read National Geographic Magazine and use a globe and map puzzles for geography.

He does more reading online than anything else, but he is getting enough practice reading that he is able to read and answer an average of 6 out of 10 questions on reading sections of an ACT prep book and I think he would do even better if he had more practice taking tests. I usually read to him in the evening, usually a classic book of some kind, the Story of the World, or a science history book, or National Geographic, whatever he wants me to read.

We will probably use The Chortling Bard Caught'ya Grammar with a Giggle for High School and look for good grammar sites for online practice.







Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: mamaandmore


Story of the World (We love the story format and unit study structure, I like having activity ideas set up for us already and with the further reading suggestions it really makes it a great spine so we can study as much or as little as we want on a particular chapter).


mamaandmore - have you used story of the world before, or is this your first time using it? I was thinking of ordering this and the activity book and using at a base for history for a while.

Originally Posted By: mamaandmore

Music (When DS6 was pulled from school the only thing he asked about besides friends was if we could still study composers and classical music like they did in music class. So, we're using Story of the Orchestra as a guide and doing units based on the chapters in it, alternating the composers and instruments).


We love to look up stuff on composers too. We learned a lot about composers this summer. At least I did! Many of those guys lead very interesting and scandalous lives! They would be all over the Enquirer if they lived now.

Posted by: Austin

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 02:18 PM

Franz Liszt, slayer of pianos and women!!
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 02:49 PM

Lest you all think I'm hothousing here, dd three insists on having her own work. I would let her play all day if she wanted! She's definitely the one in the driver's seat. The science program is pricey, but I am very impressed with it. We'll spread it out, maybe doing one lesson each few weeks. I just reviewed it here:
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art26890.asp

We're very child led at my house, especially in the early years. My daughter LOVES mixing "potions" and playing with water, and this is just the perfect program for her.

I like SOTW, but it does have a few glaring errors. I seem to recall one biggie about Christopher Columbus, and there were a few others as well. Overall, it's a good start, and we always supplemented with lots of library requests, crafts, and games. I may take it back out for dd 8, as she really enjoys it and is crazy for history. My family started SOTW one in 2001, and we're still no through book 3! We move forward through history VERY sllooowllyyy.

Lori, you mentioned a couple books I haven't heard of previously. (If you're trying...) How do you like them?
Posted by: mamaandmore

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: kimck
mamaandmore - have you used story of the world before, or is this your first time using it? I was thinking of ordering this and the activity book and using at a base for history for a while.


We've been using it about 6 months, since we started homeschooling. I really like the activity book that goes with it, especially since DS6 is still kind of young he enjoys the arts & crafts activities. It's especially nice when I can involve my 2 younger kids, too. I also like that it begins with ancient history, since besides studying Egypt it's hard to find resources for younger kids. I don't know how it would do with older kids, I can easily see the story format becoming a bit juvenile.

I really only have 2 complaints about it-
1. It has a bit of a religious overtone to some of the chapters. That's easy enough to avoid though by just skipping those sections (I think 3 chapters in all).

2. Some of the history facts seem to be a bit shaky with little acknowledgment of the disagreement between experts. We've discovered in reading other sources that some of the stuff isn't nearly as black and white as presented. I just use it as an opportunity to discuss with DS the importance of referencing a variety of sources so that you can be aware of the inherent bias in any single source. I can totally see where it's hard within the context of what the author is trying to accomplish (a story-based time line for all of ancient history), it would be difficult to include other view points. Still, a little blurb to parents might be nice.

Posted by: LMom

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 03:48 PM

I think it's really difficult to come up with a curriculum because things change so fast. Whatever I write today won't be true 2 or 3 months from now and if you have asked me the same question in June I would have given you a slightly different answer. Nevertheless here is where I am now

DS6

Math:
- Singapore, gaps in 3B, 4A. Hopefully once we get to 4B or 5A it will be more about new material than filling up gaps.
- Primary Grade Challenge Math by Zaccaro.
- Pentrose book, you know the one about the cat. I am too lazy to go and look up the title.
- Joy of Mathematics, Teaching Company

LA
- a mixture of 2nd to 4th grade material of Harcourt Family Learning. Right now DS6 is writing a "book". We will cover any grammar or spelling which comes up during this project. After he gets tired of it we will try something else.
- DS6 is interested in the word origin and we will use Cryptomania! for this. I need to write a post about this book.


History
- Starting from Big Bang just like Kriston. Kriston, if you find any good books, please PM me and I will check if they are available in our library.
We will use Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History and Usborne Internet-Linker Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, plus whatever we find in the library

Geography
- Maps, Globes, Graphs Level C plus whatever comes up during history
- Sheppard Software (in case there is something DS6 doesn't know yet smile

Science
- CyberEd Earth and Space Science
We have lots of books related to that
- whatever else we may like to explore

Languages: his other language 2nd grade curriculum and hopefully French

2 weekend gt classes of his choice

Piano, gymnastics, skiing, ice skating, ...

He will also attend alternative school 2 afternoons/week to be with other kids and he and I will get a break from each other. It's only 10 minutes from us and I guess it's worth trying besides theirs "All our children are smart" Ouch. Fortunately DS6 shouldn't stand out when it comes to art/music/drama which is what they usually have on their afternoon schedule. We will see how that goes.

DS4 will be in play-based preschool and it's up to him what he wants to learn at home.
Posted by: KAR120C

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:00 PM

Well this might look nuts (even here! LOL) but here goes:

Science:
--Interactive 2 (Singapore)
--Bite Size Physics (with a group)
--Lego Mindstorms (group)
--Science Fair Project

Math:
--Statistics (AP-ish)... our first year not using Singapore!
--Zome Geometry (with a group)

History/Geography:
--Story of the World 4
--Weekly mapwork & Sheppard Software
--Projects (Elvis and conspiracy theories seems to be the current interest... and he's just finishing up a series of emails with his grandpa about the Civil War, invention under duress, navigation, and Nathaniel Bowditch...)

Literature/Comp:
--Biweekly book group with 2 months on Shakespeare
--Poetry and Music on our own
--That grammar website that questions posted a couple days ago (woohoo!)

Languages:
--Latin with Lingua Latina
--Spanish with Pimsleur, Espanol Esencial, and a book called "Easy Spanish Reader"
--Russian... just casually, with the New Penguin Russian Course

Other:
--Flute lessons
--Rock climbing
--Swimming
--Cooking club (monthly)
--Dissection club (alternating months)
--Church, probably including our church sex-ed class. I have to find out what grade(s) are covering that this year.

I think that's it.... He has two standing playdates with kids he doesn't manage to see in all that, and despite what it looks like we've managed to keep evenings and weekends almost entirely free.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:05 PM

Yes, LMom, let's share resources on the Big Bang! I'd love to work together on that!

I have some things reserved at the library, but I'm waiting for the rest of my books to come in, so I haven't looked at anything yet. Our library system has quite a bit, happily, so it will be more a case of picking what looks best rather than taking what's available. Yay!

I'll let you know what I like.

Also, your great and interesting lists (!!!) reminded me of some things we do that I forgot to mention:

> DS7 writes at least 3 lines in his notebook every day, usually of his choosing, and we'll start on cursive sometime this year;
> We'll do a few minutes of typing daily (I hope) with the "Dance Mat" online program;
> We have the Rosetta Stone Spanish program I hope to try with him...if I can remember where I stashed it...blush ;
and
> DS7 wants to learn the state capitals and rivers of the world for geography this year. (He chose to memorize all 50 states by shape last year using state flash cards--VS, maybe? Whaddya think? LOL!)

That rounds out our plans.
Posted by: KAR120C

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:12 PM

Oh on the state capitals front there's a Sequence game with states and capitals! We only just bought it last week so I don't know how well it lasts, but so far so good!
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:20 PM

What is Sequence? I don't know it, but I'm interested, Erica. Thanks! smile
Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:26 PM

Originally Posted By: mamaandmore

I really only have 2 complaints about it-
1. It has a bit of a religious overtone to some of the chapters. That's easy enough to avoid though by just skipping those sections (I think 3 chapters in all).

2. Some of the history facts seem to be a bit shaky with little acknowledgment of the disagreement between experts.


Interesting! I was actually drawn to it because some of the reviews I saw said it wasn't religious enough! But that sounds fine - as long as it's something you can work around. I just thought it might be a good base to start, and we can get additional book and resources at the library. That point about references is a good one! And if my DD4 is interested in the stories and/or projects, all the better.

DS7 is also doing jr. lego league and may spend 1/2 to 1 day a week at a co-op for HG+ kids (if we can get in, crossing my fingers!)

And Lorel - I totally get your DD3. My daughter would scream for her homework at 2 when my son would bring work home from kindergarten! I can only imagine if you were schooling all day. I really do think I'm going to need plenty of stuff on hand for DD4!
Posted by: KAR120C

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:27 PM

It's a board-and-card game that generally goes along the lines of trying to place five tokens in a row (while preventing opponents from doing the same), where you get to place a token on any square you have a matching card for.

The states and capitals version, instead of having a matching card you have a card with the capital and you place a token on the state square. They both have the shape of the state, so there's hope (I mean except like Wyoming... that's a singularly unhelpful shape! LOL), but basically you're matching the capitals and states to place your token. Not extremely challenging or exciting, but kind of our usual after-dinner-board-game kind of fare. smile
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:32 PM

Did you get Sequence at a store or online? It sounds good. I appreciate the tip!
Posted by: Dazed&Confuzed

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:33 PM

You can buy it anywhere - Target, Wal-mart. My friend highly recommends the Sequence states game.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 05:40 PM

Thanks! It's on my list now! smile
Posted by: KAR120C

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 06:26 PM

Yup - we got it at Target!

Oh and on the Story of the World front.... we're UU and manage to use it without too much trouble, although we did skip a few of the literal biblical chapters.

We always have a second source, and sometimes we google things just in case. There are errors... In book 3 she said malaria was the same as yellow fever, which is definitely not the case smirk but it does make a nice overview and I like the pace.
Posted by: Little House

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 06:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Lorel
Lest you all think I'm hothousing here, dd three insists on having her own work. I would let her play all day if she wanted! She's definitely the one in the driver's seat.


You know, I often hear people say, "We don't start academics until [insert age here] at our house." I wonder what they would do with a kid who was begging to learn? My oldest would drag her magnetic letters around the house and hold them up so that I could tell her what sound they made. She did this before she was two! She is eight now and still hasn't slowed down.

All this to say that I believe that you are not hothousing!
Posted by: incogneato

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 06:41 PM

Not even close Lorel!
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 06:44 PM

I was going to try to jokingly say "ah, yes, you are, too, hothousing!" But I just couldn't find a way to do it. It's too far from reality to even be funny!
Posted by: LMom

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Kriston

> DS7 wants to learn the state capitals and rivers of the world for geography this year. (He chose to memorize all 50 states by shape last year using state flash cards--VS, maybe? Whaddya think? LOL!)


Show DS7 http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm

DS6 spent last summer playing it. He loved it beyond words, he spent countless hours there and he still does here and there.

Levels 8 and 9 should make your VS kid more than happy. Ok, I think I am VS but gee I couldn't play those. Completely out of my league. Last summer was the first time we had to face the fact that our then 4 year old son knew something much better than us. He could beat us at pretty much any level, any continent with the exception of those where we all got 100%.

I hope that we can add typing into hs, but that's my secret hope. He knows where to put his 10 fingers but he needs practice, practice and more practice.

I forgot our monthly ASL class. I also want to do Scratch, hopefully with other 2 HG+ kids.

Now how does that compare to a standard 1st grade curriculum? wink Sorry, couldn't refuse the comparison.

Lorel, when DS6 was two, he loved workbooks. He could spend an hour working on them. DS4 has his math workbook too, but it's up to him when he wants to do it and since you never know with this child of mine I have no idea how much he will use it. He asked for (and got) a geography workbook a few weeks ago.

Posted by: mamaandmore

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 07:48 PM

This thread is fantastic! I love all the resources and it's so nice to read about other kids like mine who insist on doing and studying such a huge variety of subjects. IRL I tend to down-play the sheer variety of what DS6 studies and I don't talk at all about DS4's work or the stuff we do with DD2 because I get crazy looks.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/22/08 09:21 PM

Ooh! LMom! That geography site is fantastic! Thanks so much!

Have I mentioned recently how much I love this forum and all the great people here? The resources I find here are so, SO good!!!

laugh
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 06:13 AM

I remember when DS was six, we went out to lunch with a PG friend and his family. The placemats had state trivia on them. The boys competed to see who knew more capitals. My son ended up knowing more, but I didn't think it was a big deal. It certainly didn't make me think that my son must be smarter. The other mom seemed a bit flustered, and said, "We haven't done states and capitals yet". I just let it pass, but actually, my son hadn't ever studied capitals either. Whatever he knew, it was learned from incidental occurrences and the USA map puzzle which he adored at age two.

I just wanted to point out that more structured learning works well for some, but it isn't the only way to go. I don't want readers to think that they are letting their kids down if they don't have such impressive lists of subjects and curricula.

Thanks for all the responses on my hot housing comment. I don't really worry about people who know me thinking that of me, as it is SO far from the truth, as Kriston pointed out. But there are a lot of lurkers here who might get the idea that they "need" to get workbooks for their two year old. I don't want to give the wrong impression.

Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 06:41 AM

Thanks KAR1000. A positive review from a fellow UU is perfect. smile

This is a great thread! Thanks everyone for the resource info - I'm loving it.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 08:08 AM

Good point, Lorel.

And just to support the point, neither of my kids ever used workbooks. They just weren't workbook kids. Even now, DS7 doesn't love them. They're totally not necessary.
Posted by: Lori H.

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 09:45 AM

Lorel-

I do like the "If You're Trying to Get Better Grades and Higher Test Scores You've Gotta Have This Book" books for science and math because I think they give good advice for preparing for tests including tips for getting motivated and setting goals, getting organized, and even mentions the importance of staying physically and mentally healthy.

I was looking for something like this because my son has no experience taking tests unless you count the WIAT that he took several years ago.

I liked the fact that the science book includes formulas, measurement tools, units of measurement and says if you're going to be successful with investigating science questions, you'll need to have these firmly planted in your mind. I think it is a good book for my science loving kid who is not as interested in math. It includes formulas for electrical energy, electrical current, mechanical advantage and others. I don't think my son likes it as much as the Ed Zaccaro book that we are reading, but I really like it and I am surprised that there are no reviews of the books on amazon.com. Oh, and I also like the cartoons and illustrations in the books.
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 10:16 AM

Kriston-

Neither of my boys were into workbooks as early as my girls were, but there did come a point where Hector decided that he liked them. He was around four and a half, and we'd found the gifted and talented workbooks that used to be published by learning tree. I don't think they make them anymore, but they were fun. Of course even with those, we learned to buy "up" a bit.
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 10:27 AM

Lori-

I'll have to look those books up; they do sound interesting! Thank you for the detailed explanation.
Posted by: kimck

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 01:45 PM

I thought of another question ...

I know someone on here talked about teaching cursive handwriting? Was that you Kriston? DS7 is begging to learn cursive. Although maybe that would be novel for about a week. Are there any "rules" (or suggestions on at point kids can learn cursive? He is an adequate printer, and honestly I think he was better a year ago than he is now. I thought maybe we should just do some printing for a few months and then think about it. I'm also letting him start to learn to type with the free BBC game, which he likes!
Posted by: mamaandmore

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 02:09 PM

DS6 is learning cursive, but it's because he has trouble with print. His print is illegible and he can't write long before his hand hurts, but, he has beautiful cursive and can write quite a while without complaints. I've read that it's easier for kids to learn cursive writing first because the loops and connections are easier than the straight lines and separate letters of print. I know I learned cursive in pre-K (I remember because I switched from private to public school for K and got in trouble constantly for writing in cursive).

We did a letter a day using the free curriculum I posted about, went through the whole lower case alphabet and now we're practicing copy work (and picking up the uppercase letters as we go). Once he gets fast with his copy work I'm going to have him strictly use cursive for writing. I don't know if that's the "right" way to do it, but it seems to have worked out ok.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 02:56 PM

Yes, I am one of the people thinking about teaching cursive, and I think LMom also talked about it, right? Or am I remembering incorrectly? I thought there was one other person besides M&M and me...

My DS7 has also been talking about wanting to learn to write (vs. print), or I probably wouldn't go there yet. However, as our school system teaches kids the D'Nealian style of letters (which is sort of midway between printing and writing), I don't think it's going to be that big an issue for him. Plus, DS7 has actually been writing his own version of "cursive"--basically printing with the letters hooked together after the fact--for a couple of years now.

Even so, I've been dragging my feet on teaching him the real thing.

I don't think I'll start the year with cursive, but I think it might be a nice change of pace in Nov./Dec., when DS7 tends to be tired of the same-old and wanting a new challenge, but I tend to be too overwhelmed by all the holiday stuff to research much that's new.

I haven't done any research. I was just going to use the website that M&M suggested, and if it didn't go well, I'd look into "Handwriting without Tears," which everyone who uses seems to love. I'm assuming they have a cursive version, though again, I don't know for sure. I'm flying by the seat of my pants on it right now!

Oh, here's a site where you can make D'Nealian practice pages. If your child hasn't been using this style of writing, it might be a good midpoint? Or not? I don't know if that would be more confusing or less...

http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/denelian-1/make-d.htm
Posted by: LMom

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 05:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Kriston
Yes, I am one of the people thinking about teaching cursive, and I think LMom also talked about it, right? Or am I remembering incorrectly? I thought there was one other person besides M&M and me...


It wasn't me. I didn't do it wink I don't think I am ready for it.

Like you I would like DS6 to start using a typing program to be able to type faster on the computer. I think that's where my name came up. I am not sure DS6 will go for it though.

I am sure Handwriting without Tears has a cursive workbook.
Posted by: KAR120C

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 06:25 PM

We make occasional forays into cursive... DS likes it for about a day and then loses interest. But he's doing Cyrillic (Russian) cursive now - does that count? LOL
Posted by: questions

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 06:48 PM

I don't know exactly what we'll be doing yet, but my math looks pretty much exactly like LMom's and we'll be doing the cybered science, too. And I-Science 4th grade, Singapore Math's discontinued science course. I have the books and equipment and DS thinks it's great fun. (But Lorel, his favorite thing is to make potions, too.)

For a foreign language, he wants to learn Turkish b/c he did the demo on Rosetta Stone and remembers everything from lesson 1. We tried Korean, but it's not the updated version and it was a lot harder for him. Still language shopping. I'm not sure Turkish is the best choice, although it's possible he could have a Turkish cousin in the not too distant future. That would impress his cousin's future in-laws, no doubt. Everyone around here talks about studying Mandarin Chinese. Spanish is more practical. What do you think? I suppose a year of Turkish couldn't hurt - although I wonder what they'd do with him if he went back to school.

For our curriculum, we'll make sure to cover all the subjects covered by the local private and public schools so that if DS returns to school in the next year or two there won't be gaps. We aren't bound to use what they use, but we plan to cover the topics, and go from there.

The big emphasis this year will be on writing (including cursive, dictation using dragon naturally speaking and typing), reading and study skills. We are using a teacher for most of it, as I'm working.

We have all sorts of great activities planned from drum lessons to a course at the nature center, as well as the things he was doing last year - NXT robotics, drama, taekwondo and swimming. I'm still not sure how I do this and work, but we'll see how it goes. I'm hopeful we can find a great babysitter as well.
Posted by: Dazed&Confuzed

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 06:56 PM

found the answer to my question..
Posted by: questions

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 07:02 PM

It's a dictation software. FYI, they just released Version 10, which is supposed to be better at understanding kids. There is a $99 introductory offer for Draon 10 preferred. Don't have the website offhand, but it's made by Nuance so you could try www.nuance.com. (I'm on the BB at the moment). HTH.
Posted by: Dazed&Confuzed

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 07:03 PM

lol you're fast! I googled it and then edited my post! Thanks for the info.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/23/08 07:29 PM

My $.02, worth less than half that:

I think he's young, and if he wants to learn Turkish, it's a good time to go with it. It doesn't have to be a lifetime commitment at this age, just something fun.

Plus you never know when an unusual interest will become something more. The world *does* need people who speak Turkish, too, albeit in smaller numbers than it needs people who speak Spanish.

I'm working on the Arabic that DS7 wants to learn, but I haven't found anything for him yet...
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/24/08 05:13 AM

Go for it with the Turkish, Q! I have a dear friend who came from Turkey, and I think it's a great language. I've considered having my kids take it, but DH argues that it isn't "useful" enough. I like the "niche marketing" aspect though- I think it might make a person more interesting and valuable to employers later. It seems like everyone is learning Japanese or Chinese these days.

Any second language will be good for him, and make it easier to acquire others.
Posted by: Lorel

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/24/08 05:14 AM

Yes, both of my middle ones learned cursive with HWT. It's not the prettiest handwriting, but it is easy to read and they both took to it quickly.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/24/08 06:36 AM

A side note in favor of learning odd languages:

DH learned a bit of Greek before our honeymoon there. The best was, "I'd like a good bottle of red wine." Tee hee hee!

Apparently NO tourists bother to learn any Greek because everyone speaks such good English there. So people fussed over him! They'd ask if he was Greek first (not native, obviously--he didn't speak THAT well!), but when they found out he just learned to be polite, they practically asked us to join the family. They'd give us free food--even a free bottle of good red wine once! It was amazing the treatment we got. And that was all *before* they found out we were on our honeymoon.

So I confess, I'm very much in favor of learning "weird" languages. It worked amazingly well for us! laugh
Posted by: ebeth

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/24/08 07:41 AM

I completely missed the boat on teaching my DS (now 8) cursive. frown He utterly begged me to teach him cursive in Kindergarten. An older boy on the block showed it to him and he became completely entranced. The Kindergarten teacher literally forbade me from teaching it to him. His left-handed scribbles were readable, but she wanted him to practice printing in order to master it. Same thing occurred in first grade. In second grade his handwriting was still rather poor, comparatively. Then he was accelerated mid-year, missing the second grade instruction on cursive. I don't know if it is because he feels slightly behind, but he as lost all interest in learning cursive. And his handwriting in 4th grade is noticeably abysmal. Any suggestions anyone?

Ahhh. The things we would change if we could go back in time....

As far as physics references... My DH, who teaches Conceptual Physics on occasion, recommended the author Paul Hewitt. He is a physicist and a cartoonist who has a knack for taking difficult concepts and explaining them simply. Conceptual Physics is what we would have called 'Physics for Poets' many years ago. It focuses on the big ideas of physics and uses very little math. (only algebra on occasion, as opposed to engineering physics which uses calculus). Hewitt writes many of the high school and college text books (for non-science, english major types), so they may be a little dry and dense for younger kids if they are used to flashy cartoons and images. But they do convey the ideas quite clearly and easily for this crowd. I wouldn't plunk down serious cash for any of his books for fear of it being too dry, but they would be great finds for ebay, a used book store, or the library. I just noticed that Amazon has a cartoon version (paperback) aimed at kids. I haven't read it yet (big disclaimer!), but I might see if the library has it.

Touch This! Conceptual Physics for Everyone (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Touch-This-Concept...397&sr=1-10

Other books that looked interesting were:
Physics, Fun, and Beyond: Electrifying Projects and Inventions from Recycled and Low-Cost Materials (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Fun-Beyond-Electrifying-Inventions/dp/0131856731/ref=pd_sim_b_njs_4

The Flying Circus of Physics (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Circus-Physics-Jearl-Walker/dp/0471762733/ref=pd_sim_b_njs_3

The Flying Circus looks like it is less of a textbook on physics and more of a "wow... look at all the cool things about physics" kind of book. It could be kind of cheesy, but sometimes cheese is necessary in order to hold their attention. Again, I haven't read any of these books, and would probably try to get them from the library.

Another reference that I found on Amazon is a list for "Introductory Physics for Homeschoolers":

http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Physi...EZTHSDD6FAJ36TE

Hopefully it will have some useful suggestions for physics!! Both DH and I are physicists, so if you run across any material that you have questions about during the year, please feel free to PM me.
Posted by: LMom

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/24/08 08:56 AM

Thank you so much ebeth! The books look awesome. I will see if our library carries them. The Flying Circus of Physics is something which could get my son really interested in physics.

This thread is awesome (and kind of expensive wink)
Posted by: questions

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 08/24/08 09:35 AM

Thank you ebeth. This is just up DS's alley. Here's the website (with video and updates): http://www.flyingcircusofphysics.com

And check out his videos on his myspace page. These are great! http://www.myspace.com/flyingcircusofphysics
Posted by: Dazed&Confuzed

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 09/02/08 05:22 PM

Well, I've joined the ranks of HSers. I mailed my LOI today and Superintendent should have it tomorrow. I will call his school to let them know not to expect him tomorrow. I'll post curricula etc later. DS8 will be 3rd grade.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 09/02/08 08:28 PM

Welcome! How are you feeling?

Are you ready? Is there anything you need that we can help with?
Posted by: Belle

Re: Calling all homeschoolers! - 09/02/08 08:56 PM

Add me to the ranks as well :-) My DS5 starts in 2 weeks (had to give notice to the montessori school) and already have my letter ready to mail next week to the school board. I am completely overwhelmed - had a feeling it would come to this but was holding out all hope. I have taught K for 12 years before leaving teaching a few years ago so I am not super concerned about curriculum - I am more worried about trying to keep up with my munchkin and setting up the new schedule for him!